No great crises to report. All the writers are lovely. I'm especially taken with Michael Downing, Crystal Williams, and Kevin McIlvoy. All are generous, funny, delightful to be around.
Kevin McIlvoy gave a fantastic reading last night, reading two stories, "Ice" and "Smoke," from his collection The Complete History of New Mexico. He's a great reader and the stories have great voices, distinct and individual. I think "Ice" is as close to a perfect story as I've heard. It has everything I like: voice, idea, some plot, and, most important to me recently, heart. Mac is a writer that exemplifies the principle of heart. He is giving as a writer and as person.
Last night we all went to The Pub for a few pints and some chit chat. We talked about writing, of course, but also the state of the world, gay mormons, the documentary "The Smiths," life in Salt Lake City, the lack of affordable day care for working mothers. You know, the basics.
Tonight is Brenda Miller's reading. I'm introducing her, so I'd better get to writing that darn thing. I bought a sexy new shirt/sweater combo that I'm debuting tonight at a fancy soiree that was supposed to be a "out-by-the-pool" party. It may be an indoor party now. Oh well. I'm just hoping for one perfect martini that's so dirty, it's pornographic.
I'll report tomorrow on my consultation with Carol Houck Smith, an editor from Norton. I gave her one of my stories entitled "When I Say Idaho." I already know she doesn't love it (she hinted), but I'm hoping she'll have some good suggestions for how I can improve it.
Oh: David Hamilton from the Iowa Review is also very sweet and nice. So all you poets, send him your work!